500 40TH ST S Fargo, ND 58103 701-282-2324

Analysis of the recent Federal Open Market Committ

Time EST






Previous Period

08:30 AM







08:30 AM

CPI Ex Food and Energy MoM






08:30 AM







08:30 AM

CPI Ex Food and Energy YoY






08:30 AM

CPI Core Index SA






08:30 AM

Real Avg Weekly Earnings YoY





0.3% R

08:30 AM

Real Avg Hourly Earning YoY





0.2% R

02:00 PM

FOMC Rate Decision (Upper Bound)






02:00 PM

FOMC Rate Decision (Lower Bound)


















Two Dissents As FOMC Decides to Raise Interest Rates Again

The December FOMC decision to raise the Fed funds target rate another quarter percentage point, while widely expected by economists and the markets, reveals a chink developing in the armor of a unified FOMC.  Charles Evans and Neel Kashkari decided to vote against a rate hike this month as inflation so far has failed to lift toward the FOMC’s target.  Moreover, the revised median dot-plot was nearly identical to the one released in September, with most FOMC participants anticipating another three quarter point rate hikes next year.  Some analysts were expecting the FOMC median to signal a more aggressive rate hike path next year. 

The FOMC released a revised Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) showing a somewhat faster pace of real GDP growth through 2020 than that forecast in September.  The FOMC median now expects 2.5% GDP growth Q4/Q4 next year, up from 2.1% forecast previously.   The FOMC boosted their forecast for GDP growth by 0.1 percentage points for 2019 and 0.2 percentage points for 2020 as well.  More FOMC members are factoring in a short-term boost to GDP growth from the change in Federal tax policy. 

The labor market is expected to be somewhat tighter as a result with the unemployment rate averaging 3.9% in 2018 and 2019 - about two tenths of a percentage point lower than what was forecast in September.  

Notably, the FOMC’s median forecast for core PCE inflation was unchanged from September.   As a result, the FOMC median dot-plot of the Fed funds rate target for the end of 2018 and 2019 were unchanged from the September projections, while the long-run Fed funds rate estimate remained at 2.8%.

Yellen mentioned in her press conference that there was no need to alter the Fed balance sheet normalization program, so bond investors can expect the Fed’s balance sheet to shrink at a faster pace starting in January to $20 billion a month.  

The December FOMC statement itself was a snooze, little changed since the November meeting, though I would note that the statement around future labor market conditions was adjusted from “strengthen somewhat further” to “remain strong”.  Perhaps suggesting that labor market conditions will not materially improve from where they are today.

Bottom-line, the two new dissents on the rate hike decision today from FOMC doves revealed a growing gap on the FOMC over the implications of recent low levels of core inflation.  The FOMC median and Yellen herself stuck to their temporary factors argument, but there are definitely some FOMC members that are getting more uncomfortable with the lack of progress on bringing inflation back to the Fed’s intermediate target.  My Fed funds rate forecast is unchanged following today’s FOMC meeting.  We still look for two additional quarter point rate hikes in 2018, which remains somewhat below the current FOMC median forecast.

Treasury bonds yield dropped further following the decision.  The 2-Yr yield dropped 4.3 basis points from yesterday and the 10-Yr yield fell 5.0 basis points to 2.355%.  The dollar spot index is falling as well, down 0.64%, from yesterday’s level.  U.S. stocks held on to moderate gains today as a gradual pace of future rate hikes should keep corporate profits buoyant near-term.

Leasing - That's Good to Know!





Who are we?


F.F. Fisher Leasing Corporation is a regional provider of equipment leasing solutions to small businesses in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, Iowa, Nebraska and other states where our Fargo-based relationships have expanded.  The Fisher Leasing organization is an experienced group of relationship-focused leasing experts delivering exemplary customer service.


Key Facts


·        Founded in 1989

·        Serving over 5,500 clients

·        Experienced in over 50 business segments

·        Average lease term is 42 months and average transaction size is $60,000

·        Transactions can range from $10,000 to over $1 million

·        Over 60% of originations are repeat clients           

·        Average staff experience is over 25 years


Company Focus


·        Small-ticket commercial vehicle and equipment leases and loans

·        Fleet management services

·        Agricultural and transportation equipment specialists

·        Face-to-face sales relationship model

·        Primary sales footprint is a 500-mile radius of Fargo, North Dakota

·        Strong business vehicle acquisition, lease structuring and disposition services

·        Convenient and responsive, with timely turnaround



Why Businesses Lease?


·        Over 80% of businesses lease in the U.S.  Good financial management requires companies to look at financing alternatives to creatively expand borrowing capacity and diversify liquidity sources.

·        Leasing helps companies realize the economic benefits and achieve financial flexibility not available through conventional debt financing.  Off-balance-sheet financing can leverage capital for the business.

·        100% financing that includes up-fits, training, installation and freight is available, helping the company maintain cash for operating. Lower payments and longer terms improve liquidity.

·        Fixed payments structured to the company’s cash flow helps planning and budgeting.  Payments can be expensed in the operating budget.


School & University Leasing Programs


Colleges and Universities are looking at leasing their assets as a valuable tool.  Budgetary constraints can prevent asset acquisition when they are needed.  Beginning new programs and leasing the critical equipment can provide affordable and tailored payments, versus large capital expenditures.  The ability to spread payments out over a 3, 4 or 5-year term helps keep equipment and fleet current.  To help you compare our leasing programs with traditional loans and cash purchases, please note the following:


Issue                     Leasing                               Traditional Loan               Cash Purchase

Rate                      Lease payments are           Banks tend to lend on a floating     No impact other than the

Structure              fixed for the term of          or variable basis.  This places rate  opportunity cost to reinvest funds

                              lease.                                   on you.                                               in your business.


Soft Costs             Leases can incorporate      Typically soft costs are not              More out of your cash flow.

                              100% of the transaction   financed.  You must use your

                              soft costs (shipping,          cash flow to cover these costs.

                              taxes, training, etc.)


Down                    Our lease is typically          You may be asked to pay a                             Not applicable.

Payment               structured with 1st             down payment of up to 25%.

                              payment up front.


Compensating     Not required.                      May require minimum deposit       Not applicable.

Balances                                                                           balances and numerous

                                                                           restrictive loan covenants.


Restrictive            Not required.                      May include demand clauses,         Not applicable.

Covenants                                                         blanket liens on all of your

                                                                           business assets, maintenance

                                                                           of certain financial ratios, and

                                                                           restrictions on future debt.


Revolving             A lease is fixed for              Loan may be classified as a              Not applicable.

Structure              the term of the                   revolving loan and can be

               lease.                                   cancelled on an annual basis.


Security                Only the equipment          May take a blanket lien on                             Not required.  But purchased

Filing                     leased by us is listed.         all of your business assets.                             assets become secured assets

                                                                           A blanket lien may restrict                             in favor of the bank, if a blanket

                                                                           your company from borrowing       security agreement is in effect.

                                                                           in the future.


Application          Simple process that           Process can be lengthy and             Not applicable.

Process                 is much quicker than         intimidating.  Loans can take

                              a loan.                                  up to a month to fund.


Tax                        Depending on the lease     Loans make you the owner of         Limited to depreciation over the

Implications         structure, the transaction the equipment.  This limits the       equipment’s useful life.

                              may be 100% deductible. tax advantages to depreciation

                                                                           and the interest expense.


Our Process


1.      Obtain Our Lease Proposal:  After you determine your specific equipment needs with your vendors, we can provide a lease proposal with terms and payments tailored to your specific situation.

2.      Submit Application:  If you decide to proceed, return a completed lease application, along with any requested financial information.  For your University, that can include the following:

a.      Copy of an Incumbency Certificate and Resolution authorizing the lease.

b.      Copies of your audited financial statements (last two years).

c.      Copy of your licensing approval from any regulatory oversight authority for your CDL program.

3.      Credit Review:  Our credit decision is usually rendered with 48 hours of the information and application receipt.

4.      Documentation:  Once approved, lease documents are prepared and emailed to you.  The documents must be executed by an authorized signor and returned to us.

5.      Vehicle Ordering: Once properly executed documents are received, we issue a Purchase Order to your vendor.  You then coordinate delivery details with your vendor.

6.      Delivery and Acceptance:  Upon our receipt of your vendors invoice(s), we contact you for verification of delivery and acceptance.  Once confirmed, the vendor(s) are paid and your lease begins.


Things to Consider When Comparing Proposals


Number of Advance Payments.  The number of advance payments required (such as first and last) can affect your interest rate.  We only require one upfront payment.

Are the Payments Being Applied to the Term?  True advance payments are applied as payments.  Some companies hold the payment as a “Security Deposit”.  This will increase your overall cost to lease.

Make Sure Your Payment Is Fixed and not adjusted at the last minute, based on an “index.”

Understand Your Purchase Option.  If you are told you will own the equipment at lease end, get it in writing and do not rely on what was stated verbally.

Automatic Renewal Clauses.  Make sure this clause does not appear in your lease documents.  If you miss a deadline at lease end, the lease will automatically renew for another year.


Pre-Owned Vehicles - A Good Value!

Did you know when you purchase a new car, it depreciates 20% the moment you drive it off the lot?!  It depreciates another estimated 10% the first year!  This makes buying a good-quality, late-model car a fantastic financial decision.  Along with the saving you the heartache of depreciation, buying used also keeps your insurance rates, tax, and registration fees lower.  You can also buy a substantially better quality used car that will last longer than a new one that costs the same amount.

At FF Fisher Sales, our specialty is late-model, high-quality pre-owned vehicles!


Check us out at :  www.fffisher.com

Tips for Equipment Leasing

·        Get a flexible payment structure to fit your business needs. If your business has a slow season, ask for seasonal payment plans. 
·        Consider a leasing program that provides for lease expiration at or near warranty expiration. 
·        With an operating lease, if you think you’ll keep the equipment after the lease term, ask for a cap on the purchase price, such as “fair market value (FMV) not to exceed 20% of the equipment’s cost.”
·        Use your existing equipment to generate cash. With a sale and leaseback, a leasing company buys your existing equipment and leases it back to you. You get the cash that is locked up in your equipment while still continuing to use it.
·        Refinancing your existing equipment with a capital or finance lease can lower payments by as much as 50%. 
·        Understand the fine print. Most leases contain a termination value schedule, detailing the amount that will need to be paid to terminate the lease.
·        Don’t be afraid to ask for references when shopping for an equipment leasing company.

October 2017

F.F. Fisher Leasing Corporation


October 2017

Regardless of economic and market conditions, financing the acquisition of equipment rather than using cash can offer significant benefits to your business:

·       Capital preservation: Financing and the type of financing selected can help reduce the uncertainty of the investment.

·       100% financing with no down payment:  Preserve your cash flow and retain your cash reserves.  Use your money for revenue-generating areas such as worksite improvements, marketing or research and development.  Keep your business lines of credit intact.

·       Leading-edge technology:  Leasing puts state-of-the-art equipment and technology needed to grow and compete.

·       Improved expense planning:  Leasing provides certainty for budgeting by setting up customized, recurring payments to match your cash flow.

·       Reduce risk:  Leasing spreads out payments over time and helps your business stay focused on managing core operations.

Recent Transactions

Hopper Bottom Ag Trailer                 $95,000           Cattle Rancher

Mobile Lift Systems                            $40,000           Truck Repair Shop

Kenworth Heavy Truck                       $154,000         Trucking Company

Office Furniture/Systems                   $110,000         Healthcare Provider

Hoop Barn System                             $500,000         Cattle Rancher

Work Trucks                                       $400,000         Engineering Services Company

Farm Truck with Grain Box                $36,000           Grain Farmer 

C-Store Equipment                            $55,000           C-Store/Repair Shop Operator

New SUV                                             $72,000           Executive Vehicle

Communication Equipment              $181,000         Municipality

Heavy Haul Trailer                             $100,000         Construction Company

Brewing Tanks/Equipment                $30,000           Craft Brewer


Check Us Out: www.fffisher.com

Medical Equipment Leasing

Medical equipment leasing is a perfect solution for acquiring the needed equipment to set up your medical/dental practice.  Medical equipment can be extremely expensive to purchase and often times is out-of-date well before the final payment is made.  FF Fisher can provide leasing and lease lines of credit for your business, providing leasing on everything it takes to get your business up and running.  We lease office equipment, phone systems, computer hardware and software and, of course, medical equipment. We can even lease the walls for your office space!

Dr. Michael Lillestol – Lillestol Research and Internal Medicine Associates (ima Healthcare)

"We have leased computers - software and hardware; office furniture and equipment, as well as vehicles from F.F. Fisher leasing.  We have worked with them for many years, and they have always provided us with outstanding customer service and support for all of our leasing needs."

Leasing - Everyone is Doing It

According to the SBA, over 80% of businesses lease a portion of their equipment.  Along with providing significant tax advantages, leasing vehicles and equipment can help your business maintain cash reserves, increase cash flow, and preserve bank lines of credit.  Leasing also helps businesses grow without significant out-of-pocket expenses.

Two of the most popular reasons businesses choose leasing:

1.    You can write off 100% of your lease payments from your business corporate income; the IRS does not consider operating leases or TRAC leases to be a purchase.  This write off can surpass the tax advantages of bonus depreciation and accelerated depreciation.

2.  Speed - bank loans seem to take forever and require considerable information.  Our business vehicle and equipment leasing uses a simple underwriting process, and most approvals come back in 24 hours, with approval rates of over 90%.

Eight Reasons Businesses Finance and Lease Equipme


The vast majority (78%) of U.S. businesses lease or finance their equipment, and the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association has released a new infographic highlighting why this method of equipment acquisition is so popular. The "8 Reasons to Finance Equipment for Your Business" infographic provides a reader-friendly, visually inviting explanation of some of the key benefits businesses enjoy when they lease or finance the equipment they need to operate and grow.

This new tool is the latest resource from ELFA's Equipment Finance Advantage website for end-users, a one-stop resource designed to help current and potential end-users of equipment financing make the best possible decisions. The infographic showcases a variety of ways businesses can use equipment finance to their strategic advantage, including:

  • Finance 100% - Arrange 100% financing of your equipment, software and services with 0% down payment.
  • Save cash - Save your limited cash for other areas of your business, such as expansion, improvements, marketing or R&D.
  • Keep up-to-date - Keep up-to-date with technology by acquiring more and better equipment than you could if the financing option were not available.
  • Outsource asset management - Let your equipment financing company manage your equipment from delivery to disposal.
  • Accelerate ROI - Rather than paying one lump sum for your equipment, make smaller payments while the equipment generates revenue.
  • Customize your terms - Set customized payments to match your cash flow and even seasonal income fluctuations.
  • Benefit from bundling - Bundle the equipment, installation, maintenance and more into a single, easy-to-manage solution.
  • Hedge against inflation - Lock in rates when you sign your lease to avoid inflation in the future.

"There's a reason nearly 8 out of 10 companies lease or finance their equipment—it makes good business sense," said ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta. "We are pleased to present this new infographic illustrating some of the important ways our industry 'Equips Business for Success.'"

Time to Change Your Mindset

Lease assets rather than buying?

Buying outright might not be the best use of your capital. Look at leasing and hire as an option for acquiring assets. When your business needs to acquire assets, buying them outright might sound like the simplest option; cash purchases can work out cheaper in the long run and the goods are classed as business assets and so can be used as security. However, this might not be the best use of your working capital. If you take out an overdraft or loan to cover the outright purchase of assets, build interest repayments into your calculations and compare that against hire or leasing costs before you make your final decision. If you don’t need to own the item immediately, consider leasing. Leasing allows businesses to use valuable assets – such as machinery, cars or furniture – without buying them outright. These items are instead bought and owned by a finance house and leased to you for a set period.

In Brief – Leasing

  • You get immediate access to the assets but pay back on a monthly basis, thereby easing your company’s cashflow
  • Leasing companies effectively lend you the total cost of items leased
  • Almost anything can be leased – cars; property; IT and telecommunications equipment; machinery; printers and photocopiers; or even furniture
  • There are various tax benefits – for example, you can deduct lease costs from your taxable income
  • It can take only days to organise


  • Cash that would have been spent on assets can be released to finance growth
  • You don’t own a depreciating asset and can return it, offering flexibility
  • You can lease almost anything from company cars through to computers, phones, photocopiers, machinery and furniture.
  • You can access the latest equipment and may receive maintenance and support as part of the leasing deal
  • There are tax benefits. For example, you can claim back VAT on lease payments and you can also deduct the lease costs from your taxable income.


  • If you lease the item long-term you’ll probably end up paying more for the asset than buying outright
  • Leased items are not classed as business assets and so can’t be used as security
Business Lincolnshire